The Ancient World 401-330 BC
Xerxes' return to Sardes after Salamis was not a flight, but was due to a fresh revolt of Babylon, where one Shamash-erba had assumed the crown, with the full royal title of King of Babylon and King of the Lands; from Sardes Xerxes could keep touch both with Babylon and Mardonius. Babylon's final revolt was easily suppressed, and Xerxes now deprived the city of her exceptional position in the empire and made Babylonia an ordinary satrapy. He ordered the destruction of Marduk's great temple, E-sagila, which Alexander found in ruins, and removed from it the statue of Marduk, thus rendering meaningless the accession ceremony of taking the hands of Bel; he razed Babylon's remaining fortifications, abolished various native customs, and bestowed upon Persians the estates of many prominent Babylonians.
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